As I recall; this was a great question. However; it had too many components for me. Bottom line was (just for me) “Did your life turn out the way you would have liked it to?”
My answer is a resounding YES!!! EVEN BETTER!!! I had a mother who led the way! (she was 40 when I was born..unheard of in 1947)!
I am a very “lucky duck”! I loved certain things when I was a little girl. Animals (especially dogs); colors, furniture, tables, lamps, ash trays, boxes, flowers, vases, dishes, fireplaces ,andirons; dressers, pictures, windows, bathtubs. Sinks, rugs, wallpaper, curtains…..chairs,….sofas (I knew somehow never to call them “couches”); colors, windows, doors……more than that but that is enough!
Can you imagine the nightmare from hell having me as a child born in 1947 (there was a war before me; but I never paid any attention to it…except I adored and continue to adore the idea of the “Victory Gardens”!!!
I was rearranging the furniture at my own house and everyone else’s I visited. ( Fortunately I had a lovely and charming mother,…and her friends actually liked what I did!!) (they were outside) I got lots of compliments! They didn’t move stuff back.
There wasn’t a job I had ever heard of called a “decorator”; until I was 13 (now I was rearranging EVERYONE’S FURNITURE)!!
My mother gave me a copy of “A House in Good Taste” by Elsie de Wolfe. My mother said……”This is what you want to spend your life doing!!” I read that book. It stuck in my head. (this is a job??) It really wasn’t. (maybe a few; very few). Elsie de Wolfe was the very first “decorator” in the United States. There were very few when I was in high school. Fewer on the West Coast. (The best, my mother thought was Frances Elkins.)
I was “not asked back” to 5 schools in Pasadena; sent to boarding school in Massachusetts….. (“not asked back” there either)! I blessedly landed amongst some nuns! Holy Child Nuns at Mayfield School. They directed my energy and saved my live! They also encouraged my visual gifts and arrangement of furniture!!!! How lucky can anyone be????
Holy Child Nuns in Pasadena whose small school was in the most beautiful house ever. (It had been a house of cousins by marriage!)
I got into USC “on probation” because of my “godfather”; anyway, I got straight A’s in liberal arts as an English Major.
That is my idea of studying “decorating”!!!
Never thinking it was a real job (which it wasn’t, really) I decorated my first little cottage in Pasadena….. then with the constant encouragement of my mother; She helped me get my “resale number” to buy wholesale; and I “did” her house……then her friends hired me….my friends hired me…. my business went up in a way I could never have imagined!!
Then the most important thing happened!! I was all “right brain” and loving it!
But; My mother died….and I was divorced…..and I had to get serious about finances……(that left brain doesn’t work very well!)
I fell in love with my husband Adam; and married him and he agreed to be “in charge”!!!
Adam is the left brain genius!! He took over and made my business a “real business” and I could take jobs I could never have done before he was at the “HELM”!!!
My favorite thing is to create environments for children to grow up in; families to nurture in and make happy and lovely memories in!
Comfortable and welcoming and happy environments! My dream was to create these places for families to grow up! See and learn about beauty!
My dream also was to be “published” in a magazine! YIKES! House Beautiful, Traditional Home; (twice), and many others!
From the time I was 5 years old…….I have lived my “dream”! With the help of many others!!!
My first bookkeeper…my cousin Paulette…to all my divine assistants…….(many of whom are “superstars”)!!!; and my husband Adam who sold his large company (over a thousand employees…….(it wasn’t IBM) and took over running my business as a real “business”!!!
I was able to take on jobs like (Charlie Munger at Sea Meadow) and many other enormous commissions!
Dreams do come true!
I also hoped for seven children!!! I had one; daughter; inherited two lovely step-daughters!!) And managed my career the whole time! I had one child…… with the help of the two stepdaughters……I now have seven grandchildren!!!!!
There is a wonderful painting I saw at around 24; in my friend Jean Fox Fowler’s studio of a girl in a hat with a few geese around her. I saw it and I said………”OMIGOD….I HAVE TO HAVE THAT!!”
He said….”Oh good! That is a painting of YOU!!!” I cried. It was exactly the dream I had for myself ! Now I am walking around with my straw hat on; the ducks do follow me……I have on a long white skirt. It is calling in its prophesy!!! I never put that together until now!
I am going to add it to this blogpost!
Now I have ducks (wild) chickens, grandchildren, birds and wildlife….everywhere around. me. And I am still creating houses for families…….
It is quite astonishing…..all my dreams have come true. Even more! We just hatched the second set of ducklings (wild mallards i our pond) this year!!! (and I see 8 eggs in another nest box!) Two has broken a record for 17 years…….3 sets of baby mallards? YIKES!!
We have chickens…..hatch chicks…….live in a wildlife haven. Even after we built our house…….who bought the house next door on two sides?? Oprah! How good does it get! She is the most magnificent……(I don’t need to tell you!!)
Keep you posted!